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Quote/s of the Day – 10 July – “Sheep Amidst the Wolves”

Quote/s of the Day – 10 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Friday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Hosea 14:2-10, Psalm 51:3-4, 8-9, 12-14, 17, Matthew 10:16-23

“Sheep Amidst the Wolves”

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart
but you shall reason with your neighbour,
lest you bear sin because of him.
You shall not take vengeance
or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people
but, you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord”

Leviticus 19:17-18

leviticus-19-17-18-you-shall-not-hate-your-brother-love-our-enemy-16-june-2020 and 10 july 2020

“But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you…”

Matthew 5:44

matthew-5-44-but-i-say-to-you-love-your-enemies-16-march-2019 and 16 june 2020

“We are treated as deceivers and yet, are truthful,
as unrecognised and yet, acknowledged,
as dying and behold we live,
as chastised and yet, not put to death,
as sorrowful yet, always rejoicing,
as poor yet, enriching many,
as having nothing and yet, possessing all things.”

2 Corinthians 8-10

2-corinthians-8-10-we-are-treated-as-deceivers-and-yet-are-truthful-17-june-2019-and-15-june-2020 and 10 july 2020

“What is the surest kind of witness?
“Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ
came among us in the flesh” (cf. 1Jn 4,2)
and who keeps the commands of the Gospel…
How many there are each day
of these hidden martyrs of Christ
who confess the Lord Jesus!
… So be faithful and courageous
in interior persecutions
so that you may also win
the victory in exterior persecutions.”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father & Doctor of the Church

what-is-the-surest-kind-of-witness-st-ambrose-13-july-2019 and 27 nov 2019

“You don’t love in your enemies
what they are
but what you would have them become,
by your prayers!”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor

you-dont-love-in-your-enemies-what-they-are-but-what-you-would-have-them-become-by-your-prayers-st-augustine-18-june-2018 and 10 july 2020

“When he has begun to follow me,
according to My teaching and precepts,
he will find many people contradicting him
and standing in his way,
many who not only deride but even persecute him.
Moreover, this is true,
not only of pagans who are outside the church
but also of those, who seem to be in it visibly
but are outside of it because of the perversity of their deeds.
Although these glory,
in merely the title of Christian,
they continually persecute faithful Christians.”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)

when-he-has-begun-to-follow-me-st-caesarius-of-arles-21-feb-2020 and 10 july 2020

“We must show love
for those who do evil to us
and pray for them.
Nothing is dearer
or more pleasing to God than this.”

St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303-1373)

we-must-show-love-for-those-who-do-evil-to-us-st-bridget-of-sweden-16-june-2020 and 10 july 2020

“… I declare to you,
that there is no other way of salvation
than the one followed by Christians.
Since this way teaches me to forgive my enemies
and all who have offended me,
I willingly forgive the king
and all those who have desired my death.
And I pray that they will obtain
the desire of Christian Baptism.”

St Paul Miki SJ (1564-1597) Martyr

i-declare-to-you-that-there-is-no-other-way-of-salvation-st-paul-miki-16-june-2020 and 10 july 2020

“Visit me not, O my loving Lord –
if it be not wrong so to pray –
visit me not those trying visitations
which saints alone can bear!
Still, I leave all in Thy hands, my dear Saviour –
I bargain for nothing.
Only, if Thou shall bring heavier trial on me,
give me more grace –
flood me with the fullness of Thy strength and consolation,
that they may work in me,
not death but life and salvation.”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

luke-21-9-but-not-a-hair-of-your-head-visit-me-not-loving-lord-st-john-henry-newman-27-nov-2019 and 10 july 2020

“Catholics are part of the Church Militant.
They struggle and they suffer for the triumph of Christ.
They must never lose sight of their Divine Model,
so that their trials will be turned into joy.”

St Pius X (1835-1914)

catholics are part of the church militant - st pius X 10 july 2020

“To live without faith,
without a heritage to defend,
without battling constantly for truth,
is not to live
but to ‘get along,’
we must never just ‘get along’.”

Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925)
“Man of the Beatitudes”to-live-without-faith-bl-pier-giorgio-frassati-4-july-2020 and 10 july 2020

“When I feel overwhelmed by misfortune,
the greatest joy that the Lord can give me,
is to go to the altar, to put my forehead against it
(as on the day of my ordination to the priesthood)
and to feel the presence of the only reality.
Not only does calm return
but my body seems to be annihilated,
the only true life begins,
the life of that which is intangible.”

Bl Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyr

when-i-feel-overwhelmed-by-misfortune-bl-leonid-feodorov-7-march-2019-and-27-nov-2019 and 10 july 2020

“Let us love our enemies,
bless those who curse us,
pray for Those who persecute us.
For love will conquer
and will endure for all eternity.
And happy are they who live
and die in God’s love.”

let-us-love-our-enemies-bl-franz-jagerstatter-21-may-2020 and 10 july 2020

” …We need no rifles or pistols for our battle
but instead, spiritual weapons –
and the foremost among these is prayer….
Through prayer,
we continually implore new grace from God,
since without God’s help and grace,
it would be impossible for us to preserve the Faith
and be true to His commandments….”

we need no rifles or pistols for our battle- bl franz jagerstatter martyr 10 july 2020

“Since the death of Christ,
almost every century
has seen the persecution of Christians,
there have always been heroes
and martyrs who gave their lives –
often in horrible ways –
for Christ and their faith.
If we hope to reach our goal some day,
then we, too, must become heroes of the faith.”

Blessed Franz Jägerstätter (1907-1943)
Martyr of Conscientious Objection

we-need-no-rifles-or-pistols-for-our-battle-bl-franz-jagerstatter-21-may-2020 and 10 july 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 27 November – What is the surest kind of witness?

Thought for the Day – 27 November – Wednesday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:12–19

“But not a hair of your head shall perish.” … Luke 21:9

What is the surest kind of witness?

St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church

“You can be a witness to Christ every day.   You were tempted by the spirit of impurity but… you considered that chastity of spirit and body should not be soiled – you are a martyr or, in other words, a witness to Christ…  You were tempted by the spirit of pride but, seeing the poor and needy, you were seized by tender compassion and preferred humility to arrogance – you are a witness to Christ.   Better still – you have not given your witness in word alone but in deed as well.
What is the surest kind of witness?   “Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came among us in the flesh” (cf. 1Jn 4,2) and who keeps the commands of the Gospel…  How many there are each day of these hidden martyrs of Christ who confess the Lord Jesus! The apostle Paul knew that kind of martyrdom and witness of faith rendered to Christ, he who said:  “Our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience” (2Cor 1,12).   For how many people have made a confession of faith exteriorly but denied it interiorly!…   So be faithful and courageous in interior persecutions so that you may also win the victory in exterior persecutions.   There are “kings and rulers,” judges of formidable power, in the persecutions within, likewise.   You have an example of these in the temptations undergone by our Lord (Mt 4,1ff.)”… (Sermon 20 on Psalm 118)what-is-the-surest-kind-of-witness-st-ambrose-13-july-2019 and 27 nov 2019

“When I feel overwhelmed by misfortune,
the greatest joy that the Lord can give me,
is to go to the altar, to put my forehead against it
(as on the day of my ordination to the priesthood)
and to feel the presence of the only reality.
Not only does calm return
but my body seems to be annihilated,
the only true life begins,
the life of that which is intangible.”

Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyrwhen-i-feel-overwhelmed-by-misfortune-bl-leonid-feodorov-7-march-2019 and 27 nov 2019

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 7 March – A heart, forged in the love of God and the Church

Thought for the Day – 7 March – The Memorial of Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyr

“A heart, forged in the love of God and the Church”

In 1913 as the political situation destabilised in Serbia Fr Leonid decided to return to his homeland, Russia where he could then embark on evangelising the people.   But fate was not to be kind to Fr Leonid, who’s faith would soon be tempered in steel.   For upon arriving in St Petersburg, he was arrested and sent to Tobolsk a very inhospitable land in the Ural Mountains, where he spent the next 3 years.

But things did not quieten down, as rumours of revolution swirled around the courts of Imperial Russia.   So in haste Leonid was proclaimed a Bishop of the Russian Catholic Church, this was done in secrecy, as even the Royal Czar was opposed to a Catholic ‘presence’.

It was during this time that Exarch Leonid remembered a prophetic statement he had made when he was at Anagni, “Russia will not repent without travelling the Red Sea of the blood of her martyrs and numerous sufferings of her apostles.”   How true his words would be, much to his and his people’s sorrow.

And so it was that the red terror would launch itself upon the world in the form of its leader Lenin a name synonymous with evil.   And under the Communist regime the persecution of the Church began, for Lenin understood that the greatest threat to his power would come from the Catholic Church.

The order went out to arrest Catholic Priests, Monsignors and Bishops among which was Bishop Leonid Feodorov.   During the bogus trial Bishop Leonid was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Siberia “the Gulag”.

These were hard and difficult years for Bishop Leonid, in such an unforgiving terrain as Siberia but through it all his faith sustained him and his prayer life strengthened him for the rigours which lay ahead of him.

Bishop Leonid would find himself released and upon practising his faith he would then be re-arrested but his faith in God was tempered in steel and the communists could never break this heart, forged in the love of God and the Church.

For nothing would stand in the way of this indomitable Bishop as he secretly held Mass and gave Catechism classes to the youth and those who wished to learn about the Catholic Church.

Through it all, confusion, decision, peace, war, revolution and persecution. Bishop Leonid’s faith remained intact and strengthened by his ordeals.

Bishop Leonid Feodorov died in 1935.

Blessed Leonid Feodorov was beatified in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

Glory be to You O Christ, King of the heart of Blessed Leonid!

May his strength by Your Grace, be given in part to us all, amen!

Blessed Leonid, Pray for Us!bl leonid feodorov pray for us no 2 7 march 2019.jpg

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on UNITY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 7 March by Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 7 March – The Memorial of Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyr

“When I feel overwhelmed by misfortune,
the greatest joy that the Lord can give me,
is to go to the altar, to put my forehead against it
(as on the day of my ordination to the priesthood)
and to feel the presence of the only reality.
Not only does calm return
but my body seems to be annihilated,
the only true life begins,
the life of that which is intangible.”

(Fr Paul Mailleux, SJ “Exarch Leonid Feodorov, Bridgebuilder Between Rome and Moscow,” page 166)when i feel overwhelmed by misfortune - bl leonid feodorov - 7 march 2019.jpg

“If the Soviet Government orders me
to act against my conscience, I do not obey.
As for teaching the Catechism,
the Catholic Church holds that children
must be taught their religion,
no matter what the law says.
Conscience is above the law.
No law which is against the conscience can bind.”

(Adressing the court during his political ‘show trial’ in 1923)conscience is above the law - bl leonid feodorov 7 march 2019.jpg

“My whole life has been based on two principles –
the love of the Church to which I am united
and the love of my country, which I adore.
If I do not care, whether I am sentenced
to ten years imprisonment or to be shot,
it is not because I am a fanatic…
Since I joined the Catholic Church,
my sole object has been,
to reconcile my country to that Church
which I believe to be the One True Church.”since i joined the catholic church - bl leonid feodorov 7 march 2019.jpg

“Our hearts are full, not of hatred but of sadness.
You cannot understand us,
we are not allowed liberty of conscience.
That is the only conclusion,
we can draw from what we have heard here.”

(Addressing the court shortly before being sentenced to ten years in the GULAG)our hearts are full not of hatred but of sadness - bl leonid feodorov 7 march 2019.jpg

“The true messianism of the Russian (Catholic) Church
is not what the Slavophiles have imagined
but it is the example of suffering.
It is in this way that She shows,
that She is the continuation of Christ in this world.”

(Addressing a friend and confidant who was imprisoned with him at Solovki prison camp)the true messianism of the russian catholic church - bl leonid feodorov 7 march 2019.jpg

Prayer for Unity by Blessed Leonid

O Merciful Lord Jesus, Our Saviour,
hear the prayers and petitions
of Your unworthy, sinful servants,
who humbly call upon You
and make us all to be one
in Your One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Flood our souls with Your unquenchable light.
Put an end to religious disagreements
and grant that we Your disciples
and Your beloved children,
may all worship You,
with a single heart and voice.
Fulfill quickly, O grace-giving Lord,
Your promise,
that there shall be one flock
and one Divine Shepherd of Your Church
and may we be made worthy
to glorify Your Holy Name
now and ever and unto the ages of ages.
Amen

Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyrprayer for unity by bl leonid feodorov - 7 march 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 March – “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”…Luke 9:25

One Minute Reflection – 7 March – Thursday after Ash Wednesday – Gospel: Luke 9:22-25 and the Memorial of Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyr

“For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”…Luke 9:25

REFLECTION – “For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”. (v. 25).   This paradox contains the golden rule that God inscribed in the human nature created in Christ – the rule, that only love gives meaning and happiness to life.   To spend one’s own talents, one’s energy and one’s time only to save, protect and fulfil oneself, in reality leads to losing oneself, i.e. to a sad and barren existence.   Instead let us live for the Lord and base our life on love, as Jesus did – we will be able to savour authentic joy and our life will not be barren, it will be fruitful.”… Pope Francis – Angelus, 3 September 2017luke 9 25 - this paradox contains the golden rule - pope francis - 7 march thurs after ash wed 2019

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, Your great mercy, gave us Your Son!   Surely nothing can be a greater proof to us of Your unending love and mercy to Your lowly creatures, we who are dust.   Through Him, who died and rose for us, You have shown us the way of true mercy.   Grant us this day that by the intercession of Blessed Leonid Feodorov, who gave himself without reserve, we may take up our crosses with Him, never leaving the love of His Sacred Heart, so that we may join Your holy saints in eternal life.   Through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl leonid feodorov pray for us 7 march 2019

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 March – Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 7 March – Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Priest, Martyr, Monk, Exarch of the Russian Greek Catholic Church of the See of Peter, Philosopher.   Born as Leonid Ivanovich Feodorov on 4 November 1879 at Saint Petersburg, Russia and died on 7 March 1935 of “natural causes”.   His body is buried at Kirov, Russia.BL LEONID - GOOD.jpg

Feodorov was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on 4 November 1879, into a Russian Orthodox family.   His father, Ivan, was a moderately successful restaurant owner and the son of a serf.   His mother, Lyuba Feodorov, a woman of Greek descent, raised him as a single mother after his father’s early death.   Although she attempted to raise her son as a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church, she simultaneously encouraged him to read the popular novelists of the day.

He later recalled, “So I began to devour the best known French novelists of the day, Zola, Hugo, Maupassant and Dumas.   I became acquainted with the Italian Renaissance and its corrupt literature, Boccaccio and Ariosto.   My head came to be like a sewer into which the foulest muck was emptied.”

After his graduation from the Second Imperial Gymnasium in 1901, he enrolled in the Orthodox Ecclesiastical Academy in order to study for the priesthood in the Russian Orthodox Church.   After much soul-searching, he left the academy in the summer of 1902 and travelled to Rome by way of Austrian-ruled Lviv, where Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church blessed his mission.

On 31 July 1902, Feodorov was formally received into the Catholic Church at the Church of the Gesù in Rome.   In the aftermath, he began studying at the Jesuit seminary at Anagni under the pseudonym of “Leonidas Pierre,” which was meant to keep the Tsar’s secret police, or Okhrana, off his trail.BL Leonid 2

Although Leonid had originally promised to adopt the Latin Rite, while studying in the Jesuit seminary at Anagni, he came to believe that it was his duty to remain faithful to the liturgy and customs of the Christian East.   With the full permission and encouragement of Pope Pius X, Leonid transferred to the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church.   As a result of his decision, Leonid was disowned by his former Jesuit mentor and afterwards depended for his finances on Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky of Lviv.

On 25 March 1911, he received ordination in Bosnia as a Byzantine rite priest.   He spent the following years as a monk in Bosnia and Ukraine and was tonsured with monastic name ‘Leontiy’ on 12 March 1913.

On the eve of the First World War, he returned to Saint Petersburg whereupon he was immediately exiled to Tobolsk in Siberia as a potential threat to the Tsar’s government which held Russian Orthodoxy as its state religion.

After the February Revolution, the Provisional Government ordered the release of all political prisoners.   Pope Benedict XV named him Exarch of Russian Catholics of Byzantine rite.   A three-day Synod of the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church opened in Saint Petersburg under the leadership of Metropolitan Andrey.leonid-feodorov-3032e4c7-6452-4a94-8f77-1425791a05d-resize-750.jpg

Open persecution of religion began in 1922.   The clergy were forbidden to preach religion to anyone under eighteen years of age.   Then, all sacred objects were ordered to be seized for “famine relief” and lay councils were installed in each parish with the intention of making the priest a mere employee.   When both the Exarch Leonid and the Latin Rite Archbishop Jan Cieplak refused to permit this, all Catholic parishes were forcibly closed by the State.

In the spring of 1923, Exarch Leonid, Archbishop Cieplak, Monsignor Konstanty Budkiewicz and fourteen other Catholic priests and one layman were summoned to Moscow trial before the revolutionary tribunal for counter-revolutionary activities.   The international uproar which followed the trial gave the Soviet government pause, however.   Leonid was sentenced to prison but serving the first three years of his sentence in Moscow’s Butyrka prison, he was transported to enforced labour in Siberia – the Gulag in the White Sea.

There, in a former monastery, now a prison, Blessed Leonid was a pioneer of ecumenism together with the Orthodox with whom he shared the harsh captivity.   In Solovki, Roman Catholic Mass was offered in a chapel which had been restored for the purpose with the permission of the guards.   Exarch Leonid would offer the Divine Liturgy of the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church every other Sunday.   When the camp authorities cracked down on this in 1929, the Masses continued in secret.

On 6 August 1929, Exarch Leonid was released to the town of Pinega and put to work making charcoal.   After continuing, against all odds, to teach the Catechism to young boys, he was transferred to the village of Poltava, 15 km from Kotlas, where he completed his sentence in 1932.   He chose to reside in Kirov, Kirov Oblast, where, worn out by the rigours of his imprisonment, he died on 7 March 1935.

On 27 June 2001, Exarch Leonid Feodorov was Beatified by Pope John Paul II.   He remains deeply venerated among Russian Greek Catholics and by the Eastern Catholic Church.   He is regarded as a Martyr Killed Under Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe and is included in an additional memorial commemorating all of them on 29 June.BL LEONID.png